Project X-Calibur

Greg Pace. Putnam, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-399-25706-3
In this fast-paced adventure, newcomer Pace infuses science fiction action with Arthurian myth, creating a genre-blending tale in which a group of teens must save the world from the imminent threat of an alien invasion. Thirteen-year-old Ben Stone is great with fixing cars, but a social zero. Then he's recruited by the legendary magician Merlin to participate in the secret Round Table Reboot project, along with four other talented teens. As they undergo testing to determine who will fly X-Calibur, a captured alien spacecraft, in order to defend Earth, Ben discovers new strengths and weaknesses. He is on the verge of being cut from the program when an unexpected challenge gives him the chance he needs to tap into his full potential. The intriguing concept, mixed bag of characters, and plentiful action and training scenes make this an exciting, if somewhat predictable page-turner, vaguely evocative of Ender's Game or The Last Starfighter. The unusual juxtaposition of fantasy and science fiction elements works well, and fans of both genres should love Ben's stalwart, self-sacrificing brand of heroism. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 10/31/2013
Genre: Children's
Discover what to read next